White Origami

(formerly known as White Canvas)

Schloss Schönburn was previously organised on the basis of the “white canvas” principle.
You can read more about this attempt at the bottom of this page (White Canvas 2017 and 2018).
The main idea for the white canvas approach was to leave as much freedom as possible for the participants to create their own vision of Schloss Schönburn, to de-centralize the organisation of common infrastructure (such as gate, rangers, LNT, … ) and only provide a very raw framework of the most essential organisation (renting the venue, setting up membership sales, managing art grants and budget, …). We wanted to get everyone as involved as possible, trying to create a real sense of community and sparking the joy of co-creation in every participant.

This is still our mission. The previous events were running more or less smoothly, we were positively surprised by the extent of co-creation and community spirit and it was a joy to see so many active people contributing to everyone's experience.
However, we realised that there were some problems with our “white canvas” approach:

  • While ideally everything was to be plain white and free to play with by everyone, the castle itself gave us a lot of restrictions and rules to follow
  • These rules and restrictions had to be communicated to and followed by the participants, which was not always easy to enforce
  • While the core-orga team was mostly relieved to see that many things happened on their own, initiated by the participants, not everything went 100% smooth and there were reoccurring problems (gate, LNT, placement)
  • A few individuals were very often stepping in to resolve these problems, causing stressful situations
  • Most problems could have been prevented by better organisation upfront

We realised, that in reality we can not provide a completely white canvas, but some lines have to be carefully drawn, some guidelines and rules have to be fixed before filling the rest of the canvas with life.

Therefore we came to the conclusion, that what we actually need and want to provide is a “White Origami” concept. Carefully shaped, but still open for your creativity!

What does White Origami actually mean?

There will be a core-orga team, taking care of all the basic necessary organisational steps. We will set up all info systems, gather all rules and restrictions, do our best to communicate everything well to participants and we will be available as site leads during the event, ready to solve a crisis or two, if necessary.

Unlike the last years, we will NOT leave key roles and responsibilities such as setting up and maintaining the gate (check-in), LNT, rangers, and placement completely open. Instead, we will raise awareness of open positions and vital organisational structures to be filled in, actively recruit responsible participants to take these positions, and provide a general plan on how we think that these issues should be tackled best. Speaking in origami, this is the careful folding of the white paper, which still needs YOU as colourful input!

When it comes to art projects, music, performances, and workshops, we will still keep the same self-organising structures as before. This means that any project, which needs funding, has to be registered as dream on the Dreams platform, where all participants can vote to decide which projects will be funded. Music, performances, and workshops can be planned and organised in collaborative documents (such as Google documents). Placement of structures and large happenings will be monitored and guided by the core-orga team to maximise the joy of all participants.

And last, but certainly not least, we will provide and manage organisational platforms as well as personal meetings to let you become a co-creator by radical participation! The main information platform is this Wiki - which you have already found. Check out our Participation page to see all other ways of becoming a co-creator!

Your journey to become a part of Schloss Schönburn has already begun )°(

White Canvas (2017 and 2018)

White Canvas (2017 and 2018)

White canvas


Schloss Schönburn is organised on the basis of the “white canvas” principle.
Unlike previous local burns/events, there will be no pre-defined teams, leading any part of the organisation such as decorating, greeting, build up, tear down - unless YOU build a team to join efforts and create this burn the way we all want it to be. There will only be a core Orga team, that provides you with all the information you might need about the castle grounds, safety, leave no trace and budgetary possibilities (and in rare cases might help with important decision making or mediation, should the need arise). The main source for information will be this Wiki, which will be editable by every registered participant and should serve as a self-organising tool (similar to this document, organising the Urban Burn in Stockholm earlier last year).

The Idea


Create an event with as much freedom for creative collaboration and co-creation as possible. Involve all participants as co-creators. Enhance framework for communal effort. All co-creators take responsibility for the well-being of the community and contribute to making the event awesome.

White canvas orga principles


  • cooperation and communal effort
  • culture of dialogue (open, respectful, non_violent communication)
  • culture of humility (check out/leave behind your ego)
  • cherish autonomy and creative initiative
  • aim for efficiency (in collaboration, meetings, decision making)
  • no bossing around
  • individual freedom, individual responsibility
  • advice process
  • space for personal growth
  • transparency

Who is a Co-Creator?


Ideally a reliable and responsible – autonomous – cooperative – intrinsically motivated burner, aiming for personal growth – sharing communal effort

What White Canvas is not


Anarchy. Hierarchical structures. Closed groups not communicating with others. Leads with too much to do, burning out while burning. The idea that a lead is alone responsible for all aspects of a certain task. Big egos. Promises not kept. I do what I want and fuck the rest.

The Framework


1.) Austrian laws


The event must be planned and executed in accordance with Austrian law. This means that any public dream / idea / project / vision / workshop / performance must not be in violation of the relevant laws.

2.) The Austrian Burners Kunst- und Kulturverein


The Verein is responsible for the event, has a contractual relationship with the landlord, has budgetary responsibility, and is liable for safety and legal requirements. The constiution (statuten) of the Verein must be followed.
Schloß Schönburn is an Official Regional Burning Man community gathering following the The 10 Principles of Burning Man.
The Verein is represented by the Board-approved Orga team, who may give instructions regarding legal, contractual and statutory requirements and who take responsibility for the event (and are the only people who can actually legally do this). They ensure that the event planning is done according to the legal and contractual framework.

During the event, members of the Orga team will take the role of Site Leads to represent the Verein legally (to the government/police, to Schloß Wetzlas, internally to participants). The site leads have the authority to ask you to leave in case you don’t obey the rules or endanger the safety of the event or other participants.

3.) Budget limit


The Orga team receives a budget from the Verein, and is expected to plan the costs and income of the event so that the financial liability of the Verein is limited to this sum.

4.) Contract with Schloß Wetzlas


We have a contract with the landlord and limitations on how we may use the location or certain parts of it and the surroundings. You can find the most important limitations and obligations on the wiki (or equivalent; general rule: leave no trace). Site Leads and Gate/Greeters and Rangers may have further instructions to be obliged. If you need help / advice with the contractual boundaries, please ask the Orga team or the Site Leads.

5.) Our Schloß Schönburn rules and principles


We as co-creators also define rules and principles that make Schloß Schönburn a safe and positive experience for all participants. These rules are typically set by Leads and are discussed on Slack. Currently, there are:

  • The Sound of Music - rules on sound levels, locations where you can be loud and where you must remain silent

Guidelines for Co-Creators


Advice Process


Within the legal, contractual and organisational framework, you are free to co-create, realise your dreams and bring your ideas into reality.

Before taking a decision on a dream / idea / project / vision / workshop / performance / personal behaviour, you must ask for advice from all those affected, preferably using Slack.

For example, if your plans might collide with the framework or the rules of the event, or the responsibilities of the event organisers, please ask them for advice. If it might collide with the rights, obligations, interests or well-being of other participants/ co-creators, please ask them for advice (e.g. room / space requirements, noise levels, kitchen use, etc.) via Slack.

You aim to incorporate all given advice into your decision and make it acceptable to your co-creators as best you can.

You are fully responsible for your decision and its consequences. In case of conflict of interest, you may ask for mediation theoracle@burners.at.

Help and support


You are fully responsible for your well-being and the success of your dream / idea / project / vision / workshop / performance / personal behaviour or whatever else you need. That does not mean you have to deal with everything yourself. Many co-creators have taken responsibility to help you, if you need it. Please get involved on the Dreams platform or ask on Slack!